Don’t deceive Malawians abroad on ‘Cashgate’, Mr. President

Turning the hands of time…

Your Excellency, President Mutharika:

1. I submit the attached report, which my office received from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

2. The Reserve Bank of Malawi is working very closely on the issue raised in the report and several other cases.

3. We appreciate Your Excellency’s leadership in the fight against corruption and fraud. It is apparent that a lot of public resources are being misappropriated through such practices.

President Peter Mutharika: Warns Cash-gate culprits

President Peter Mutharika: Warns Cash-gate culprits

4. I wish to commend FIU for their increased efforts in combating financial sector crimes including money laundering, fraud and corruption.

5. I submit the report for Your Excellency’s information and future guidance, Sir. SIGNED, Dr. Perks M. Ligoya, GOVERNOR—MEMORANDUM TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT (BINGU WA MUTHARIKA), 17TH FEBRUARY, 2012

The late President responded in his own handwriting: “I have noted the report and will act on it…SIGNED…19/02/2012”.

The late President never did!

Actually, “Your Excellency’s leadership” in the fight against corruption and fraud that Dr. Ligoya is talking about in paragraph 3 of this Confidential Memo never existed.

It was merely some ‘business language’ by Dr. Ligoya because, until Bingu wa Mutharika died ‘one day’ in April 2012, no single person had been arrested for fraud, corruption or theft of public resources. This was the extent to which the DPP government tolerated fraud, corruption and theft of public resources until a new administration came in.

The Peoples Party government – the administration that replaced the Bingu wa Mutharika regime in April 2012 – took action on allegations of fraud, corruption and theft of public resources. It instituted a forensic audit of all concerned government institutions and departments.

Through support from the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID), the PP administration engaged Baker Tilly Business Services Limited (Baker Tilly) to provide forensic and system security audit services following the discovery of irregularities by staff of the Accountant General during a routine examination of the Budget Exception Report.

Investigations by the Accountant General had also revealed that significant amounts of government money appeared to have been misappropriated. The incident is widely referred to in the Malawi media as the ‘Cashgate’ scandal. Following the forensic audit, a report of findings was presented to the relevant authorities, including the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Office of Director of Public Prosecution and the Police.

About 50 bank accounts suspected to have been involved in illegally transacting Government cheques were identified and frozen. Close to 200 people were arrested; some have been convicted; about 150 are still on trial. Indeed, the results of the actions taken by the PP administration to get to the root of the ‘Cashgate’ are being seen today. The ‘Cashgate’ investigations had already covered substantial ground.

Following the tripartite elections on May 20, 2014, a new DPP administration came into place to replace the PP administration. On assuming power, the new leader, President Peter Mutharika promised Malawians and the world his administration would not deviate from the path taken by the previous administration in tackling the ‘Cashgate’ scandal.

To many well-meaning Malawians, Mutharika’s appearance on the Presidential horizon seemed to have heralded a new political era of business unusual and a breath of fresh air. They could not be more wrong.

In no time at all, Mutharika started reshuffling and sacking the very officers at the core of the ‘Cashgate’ investigation and prosecution, including the DPP, the Director of the ACB, the Inspector General of Police and his Deputy, the Attorney General; virtually everybody. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the actions by the new administration would affect the progress of the ‘Cashgate’ cases, somehow.

Now, Malawians are alarmed at fresh proclamations by the Head of State on ‘Cashgate’. Meeting Malawians living in the United States last Saturday, it is reported that the President “promised them he would net the big fish in the ‘Cashgate’ scandal. What ‘big fish’ is the President referring to? One is inclined to think that at the time President Mutharika was promising Malawians that he would “not deviate” on ‘Cashgate’, he was well aware that a prosecution rhythm had already been established and justice was surely and steadily taking its course.

Surely, reading from his public proclamations about “netting big fish”, only one thesis emerges—Mutharika is only bent on using the infamous looting at Capital Hill for his own political expediency.

It is clear the President is not interested in evidence, which is a crucial element to help prove wrongdoing beyond any reasonable doubt and secure convictions for any offence let alone those related to ‘Cashgate’. The President would not have fired key ‘Cashgate’ investigators and prosecutors if indeed he were looking for evidence to speed up investigations or catch the so-called ‘big fish’.

One is tempted to believe that if the talk about ‘big fish’ is real and not mere political rhetoric to misinform Malawians living in Diaspora, then President Mutharika is intent at using the ‘Cashgate’ scandal to victimize innocent Malawians for political reasons.

Therefore, President Mutharika will stop at nothing to concoct and manufacture evidence and charges against those he perceives as an obstacle to his political survival. Surely, it defeats common sense when the President, in a high-pitched tone, declares to take a different ‘Cashgate’ path, than the one that is already established and acceptable. Your guess is as good as mine!

*Hastings Kandoje is a Malawian social and political commentator. He writes exclusively for Nyasa Times in his own right

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Vavlov
Guest

Without doubt PP’s bigwigs were involved in the cashgate but looting of this magnitude started during Bingu’s time. Joyce , her team and party benefited from funds being looted, so lets see the list. Hope for once those implicated will be adequately punished. Even business people involved should be punished, their property acquired through stollen money should be auctioned to recover the funds.

Vavlov
Guest

Mr Kandoje you are spot on. I also don’t believe DDP will deal with cashgate effectively. They waste too much time window dressing. In fact I suspect some of them were involved in looting as well. Malawi may be in for rough 5 years under DDP. The president doesn’t give confidence as a man of action. He appears to be still campaigning. Madala, you are president, we want action and not empty promises!!!!!

wee asene mesi pp oyeee
Guest
wee asene mesi pp oyeee

a DPP nonse ndi ma nosense lets a gree with the truth not just

comrade
Guest

Mr Kandoje is very keen on protecting JB he fails to see his own contradictions. Ligoya’s report is dated 19/02/12. By 05/04/12 President Bingu was dead. Mr. Kandoje believes Bingu should have acted on the matter in the six weeks he had. Mr Kandoje’s President never acted on the report until Capital Hill Thieving blew up in her face in September, some six months down the road! Who are you trying to fool Mr Kandoje???!!!

wobeba wanga
Guest

THE STORY IS TOO LONG, WHO DO YOU WANT TO READ?

Jose'
Guest

Too much of your personal opinions in this article. Give us facts not opinions

mphembedzutsokonombwe
Guest

The article is well articulated! hat more does the commentator need, What facts When facts are being hidden by the current regime!

Malungo Fansidar
Guest

How can you clean the house when the same dog, amanyela mnyumba a few years ago is still in the same house? Anthu ake ndi ati kodi? Si omwewa a Peter, Kaliati and the rest of them amanya mnyumba pa dzana paja. Nanga munawaphunzitsa kuti adzikanyera panja ngati? Mwangowatolanso basi muli pano ndiye ziyende? How stupid of us Malawians to chose the same that was treating us ngati ndife nsanza and then expect them to treat us differently this time? Zofuna izi!

mbuje
Guest

Anthu enatu amachita kutumidwa kodi mumakumbukira za Milton Kutengule ndi MK20 Million yake nanga a Mulamba anakabisala kuti?

alex
Guest

if I were Mr. president I would have washed my hands by looking at the audit report of 2005 to 2010 and then the report on cash gate. Then I would have dealt with the issues to the expectations of Malawians. DPP may find ruling Malawian difficult if these issues are not sorted out. Malawians from central and northern regions want federal government because of the cash gate and unconscious people like you when choosing people to high authorities. Mulakho basi. this is ridiculous

Tate wa Cash Gate
Guest

In Few Words Cash Gate Started in the 2005 up to 2010 when Bingu wa Mutharika of Bineth Trust was ruling Malawi…2010 was a cradle of looting of Public Resources….DPP itself is the supreme agent of this Cash Gate!

Had it been Malawi has accountable/transparent Executive and Judicial System, Culprits of Cash Gate could be seen been punished…Individuals involved in Cash Gate are to be barred from Political Arena for Life…Any Political Party or Companies involved in it are to be disbanded and dissolved as a lesson to Malawians like the Mutharikas,Muluzis who come into power to loot Public Resources!

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